Yoshitoshi's 'Barometer of Emotions (Seiū kandankei)' 1876-1877


This page catalogs all known prints in Yoshitoshi's Yoshitoshi's series 'Seiū kandankei (情得 感檀形 - Barometer of Emotions)'. The title may contain one of the complex homonym jokes common in ukiyo circles: 'seiū' (晴雨) means 'weather', and kandankei ('寒暖計') means 'thermometer'.

The series features well known kabuki actors in diverse roles, the theme of the series being to show them across a wide range of weather/nature conditions.

Like many artists, Yoshitoshi produced kabuki prints early in his career. Most examples of his work in the genre date from the eary to mid 1860s. Yoshitoshi is not known for his actor prints, and this series, dating from the middle of his career, ranks among the best kabuki prints that he produced.

For other examples of his later (and better) kabuki prints, please see the series: 'Modern Actors of the West' (1877) and 'Snow, Moon and Flowers' (1890).

Technical details

Previous cataloguings

Listed in Keyes' thesis:
	Roger. S. Keyes, "Courage and Silence: A Study of the Life and
		Color Woodblock Prints of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 1839-1892",
		Cinncinnati, 1982
where it appears as series #335; he listed the 14 known prints in the series. The next listing was in:
	Eric van den Ing, Robert Schaap, "Beauty and Violence: Japanese
		Prints by Yoshitoshi 1839-1892",
		Havilland, Eindhoven, 1992

where it appears as series #28 (pg. 53, 119).

We use the Keyes numbers to order the prints below.

If you have either i) information about any errors on the page, ii) better images than the ones below, please let us know.

The Prints

To see a larger, roughly full-screen, image of any print, please click on the thumbnail; these images are sized to produce reasonable detail (if we have an original that big), and are fairly compressed.

If we have a higher-quality image, that image can be viewed by clicking on the "Large Image" link, which gives the size of the image (for the benefit of those on slow links).

Generally the rōmaji does not include names of the actor and the character shown, unless the latter differs from that used in the English column.

Thumbnail Large image Number Date Title (Kanji) Title (Rōmaji) Title Comments
#1 1876 月 の 出
坂東 彦三郎
笠原 隼太
Tsuki no shutsu Moon-rise: Bandō Hikosaburō V as Sasahara Hayata There is some uncertainty about the translation of the title. Keyes has given it as "Moon in the mountains", but a print below (#3) with a very similar title in kan-ji (differing only in the substitution of the character for 'sun' for that of 'moon') has been translated without the mention of mountains.
It is possible that another one of the complex visual puns is at play here; the second kanji, 出, is a double copy of the kanji for 'mountain', 山, so perhaps it can be seen as meaning 'mountains' here.
#2 1876 泡雪
市川 左團次
おぼう 吉三
Awayuki Light snow: Ichikawa Sadanji as Obō Kichiza
345KB #3 1876 日 の 出
市川 團十郎
鎮西 八郎 為朝
Hi no shutsu Sun-rise: Ichikawa Danjūrō IX as Chinzei Hachirō Tametomo There is some uncertainty as to the meaning of 'shutsu' here, as it it is not normally used in an astronomical context; it can be associated with either coming or going, and so might equally well mean 'sun-set'.
420KB #4 1876 ? 月
坂東 彦三郎
明智 日向守 光秀
? tsuki
Akechi Hyūga-no-kami Mitsuhide
Setting moon: Bandō Hikosaburō V as Akechi Mitsuhide
364KB #5 10/1876 洪水
阿部 豊後守
中村 芝翫
Kōzui Flood: Nakamura Shikan III as Abe Bungo-no-kami There are several members of the Abe family who held the rank of Bungo-no-kami, so it is not certain which one is shown here. It is likely Abe Tadaaki, who in 1631 volunteered to measure the damage caused by a flood of the Sumida River by riding through it on a horse, for which he was rewarded by the addition of 10,000 koku to his fief. In 1691 the Komadome Inari shrine was built in memory of this; the stone beside the shrine was said to be where he made a stop during the damage assessment.
700KB #6 10/1876
星影 土右衛門
市川 左團次
Kiri Mist: Ichikawa Sadanji as Hoshikage Tsuchiemon
368KB #7 10/1876 満月
因果 小僧 六之介
尾上 菊五郎
Mangetsu Full moon: Onoe Kikugorō V as Inga Kozō Roku-no-suke
#8 10/1876 地震
加藤 主計頭 清正
市川 團十郎
Katō Kazue-no-kami Kiyomasa
Earthquake: Ichikawa Danjūrō IX as Katō Kiyomasa
#9 10/1876 夜露
齋藤 内蔵之介 利三
市川 団十郎
Saitō Kura-no-suke Toshimitsu (Toshizō)
Evening dew: Ichikawa Danjūrō IX as Saitō Toshimitsu
359KB #10 12/1876
渡邉 源次 綱
中村 芝翫
Watanabe Genji Tsuna
Storm: Nakamura Shikan III as Watanabe no Tsuna
#11 12/1876 怪風
鴉飼 勘作
尾上 菊五郎
Akai Kansaku
Strange wind: Onoe Kikugorō V as the ghost of the fisherman Kansaku There are a number of instances of wordplay in this title:
First, the title wind name is a pun on 'kaifū', 'sea breeze' (海風).
Second, he is normally described as a cormorant fisher ('ukai', 鵜飼); the very similar character used in the title means 'crow' or 'raven'.
#12 12/1876 花曇
澤村 訥舛
Hanagumori Hazy weather in spring: Sawamura Tosshō II as Kōbaimaru Another instance of wordplay - the normal meaning of hanagumori is "spring hazy weather", but the first kan-ji can mean 'flower', hence Keyes' translation of the title as 'clouds of cherry blossoms'.
345KB #13 03/1877 潮満
青柳 春之助
尾上 菊五郎
Chōman High tide: Onoe Kikugorō V as Aoyagi Harunosuke 'High tide' is now usually written with the characters in the other order (manchō).
341KB #14 03/1877 大雨
中村 仲藏
Ōame Heavy rain: Nakamura Nakazō III as Murai Chōan


Thanks to (in alphabetical order) the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which was the source of the image for #6.

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Last updated: 24/June/2014